If your infant has a tongue or lip tie, they can have trouble breastfeeding. And, as they grow older, they may also have trouble chewing and eating properly, and may even develop a speech impediment.
However, tongue and lip ties can be treated easily at Miles of Little Smiles. Dr. Mila Belgrade specializes in gentle, pain-free laser frenectomies. Learn more about frenectomies and the process below, or contact us now to schedule a consultation in Westchester today.
What Is A Frenectomy?
A frenectomy is a treatment that’s used to treat tongue or lip ties. Tongue ties occur when the tissue band (frenulum) connecting the tongue and the base of the mouth is too thick and overdeveloped, and interferes with proper oral range of motion.
Lip ties are similar, but affect the lips. In the case of a lip tie, the upper, lower, or both bands of tissue connecting the lips and the gums are too thick and restrict your child’s ability to move their lips properly.
Frenectomies are used to eliminate these restrictions, and restore your child’s oral range of motion. In this procedure, these bands of tissue are snipped. Along with proper post-surgical care and oral physical therapy, this eliminates the tongue and/or lip ties permanently.
Signs Of Tongue & Lip Ties
There are a few signs you can look out for to identify tongue and lip ties in your child. For tongue ties, one of the most obvious signs is a “notched” or “heart-shaped” tongue. You’ll notice this when your child tries to stick their tongue all the way out. They may also have trouble moving their tongue or sticking it out beyond their front teeth.
In older kids, tongue ties may also affect their speech, particularly their ability to make sounds involving the contact of the tongue with the upper teeth. This may include “T,” “D,” “Z,” and other similar sounds. Your child may sound “slushy” or unclear when making these sounds.
Tongue ties also often affect feeding, which is the most common sign of lip ties, too. Both tongue and lip ties interfere with your baby’s ability to latch onto the breast and feed properly. This can result in things like crying when feeding, “clicking” sounds when trying to feed, very long feeding sessions, and poor overall weight gain.
Gentle Soft Tissue Laser Treatment For Frenectomies
At Miles of Little Smiles, your child’s comfort is our top priority. That’s why we have invested in laser dental tools for soft tissue treatment, including frenectomies. Laser frenectomies are far superior to traditional frenectomies.
This is because laser tools cause no pain or discomfort. The heat generated by the laser tool cauterizes (seals) nerve endings as it passes through the soft tissue, preventing pain. This also seals up blood vessels, dramatically reducing bleeding.
Laser frenectomies also allow your child to heal more quickly after their surgery. Sutures are typically not needed, and infections are less likely due to the sanitizing effect of the laser.
So don’t wait. If you think that your child needs a frenectomy, come and visit Dr. Belgrade today for a diagnosis and to learn about the proper next steps. The team at Miles of Little Smiles is here to ensure your child gets the care they need.